I am not ready for Thanksgiving. I have not read my pile of food magazines, all boasting special Turkey Day menu ideas and recipes. I have not done my research and tracked down a 20 pound bird here in Switzerland. I am still getting over having missed Halloween. I was on the road, mostly in Paris, and aside from treating myself to a serious dose of excellent candy from Käramell (Paris’ Swedish candy shop), I didn’t celebrate Halloween as I usually enjoy doing. I didn’t get to see any trick or treaters, with their fun, creative costumes and their big bags or baskets to fill, nor did I have the chance to bake spooky themed cookies or ghost shaped meringues. But most especially, I missed out on making my annual pumpkin cake, which I normally do once we hit October. So today, before I start thinking turkey,… I’m thinking pumpkin.
Don’t think pumpkin pie or pumpkin spice either. Just pumpkin. And chocolate. I love baking this pumpkin chocolate cake for many reasons (other than that it’s delicious): it’s very simple to make; the ingredient list reads like a generic baking roll call aside from the pumpkin purée; and you can bake it in assorted ways: in a round cake tin and cut triangular slices, in a rectangular/square baking dish and cut brownie-like squares, or even fill a muffin tin, the latter being good for portion control and handing out to friends and neighbors. I chop up two bars of chocolate, but you could also use chocolate chips, which would be an even faster method. When baking in general, I prefer to chop chocolate myself rather than buy chips because you get a nice mix of sizes and textures in the end – medium chunks of chocolate, smaller pieces, and shavings that eventually melt into the batter.
Another thing I like about making this recipe is that the cake batter is addictively sweet. This is one of those recipes where you look forward to licking the spatula clean. That said, when your muffin pan has a few empty baking cups, you can’t say that I didn’t warn you.
Pumpkin Chocolate Cake2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/4 cups (280 grams) finely granulated sugar 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter 1 egg 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup (244 grams) unsweetened pumpkin purée 14 oz or about 2 cups (400 grams) dark chocolate, roughly chopped Powdered sugar for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin purée and mix until combined. Continue to mix, while gradually adding the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate, and mix so that batter is smooth and chocolate is evenly distributed.Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for around 45-50 minutes. Cake will become dark golden, with a very thin crackly top layer, and stay real moist inside. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when serving.
Note: This is one cake I actually enjoy more when cold. The perfect accompaniment is a tall glass of milk.